One of the hottest items being sold in the health food industry today is coconut water. It is becoming more noticed and thus questions are arising: why exactly is it so popular?
Coconut water is the product of a young coconut. It is not the same thing as coconut milk. Coconut milk is from the coconut’s matured pulp whereas coconut water is separate from the young pulp and is 94% water.
Much of the touted benefits of coconut water are traditional as there has not been a lot of research done on it, but there are several facts that have been researched. Coconut water has been shown to be effective intravenously during emergency situations to increase hydration; in an animal study, it was shown to decrease the negative effects of a myocardial infarction (heart attack). In another study, it lowered blood pressure from unhealthy levels.
Inorganic ions, such as potassium, are found in high levels in coconut water, thus its promotion as a sports drink--one study showed that it did not significantly affect the body differently physiologically from drinking plain water or sports drinks after being dehydrated, but was ingested more smoothly than water or sports drinks. Since it doesn’t have as much sodium, however, you should add a pinch to your coconut water after very serious workouts. Vitamins C & B, amino acids and enzymes have also been determined to be in coconut water. It also has significant levels of sugars, but it is obviously better than drinking the high fructose corn syrup found in sports drinks today.
Overall, coconut water is a delicious, refreshing healthful drink. So much more research could be done to determine more of its healthful benefits.